Amadeus

1984

Action / Biography / Drama / History / Music

137
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89% · 154 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 95% · 100K ratings
IMDb Rating 8.4/10 10 431727 431.7K

Director

Top cast

Jeffrey Jones as Emperor Joseph II
F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri
Elizabeth Berridge as Constanze Mozart
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.10 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 40 min
Seeds 96
2.87 GB
1920*784
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 40 min
Seeds 100+

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ironhorse_iv 9 / 10

Rock me Amadeus! Amadeus is a beautiful musical masterpiece

Extraordinary! On the page it looked nothing! The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse. And then, suddenly, high above it, beautiful music. A single note, hanging there, unwavering. Until a clarinet took it over, sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I had never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God. Director Milos Forman's Best Picture winning drama was indeed a masterpiece. Based on Peter Shaffer's extravagant 1980 Broadway play with the same name. The film tells a fictionalized biography of tortured genius and Viennese child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce). Also, the story was presented in a way that was very unique at the time. It was through the eyes of fellow jealous composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) who finds the deeply crude and childish behavior of Mozart, unworthy of such praise. Driven by his attempt to outshine Mozart, Salieri must find a way to gain the audience of the Austrian Aristocrats, before it's too late. Without spoiling the movie, too much, a lot of people had complain that this movie wasn't historical accuracy. In my opinion, a lot of this criticize wasn't needed. To the film credit, Amadeus never claims to be a true story. It's normal for films like this, to sometimes diverge from historical facts in order to explore more fundamental and universal human issues and to achieve a dramatic effect. Yet, the film had more fact than fiction than most people are willing to taken. It did a lot of homework to get, as accuracy as possible. So, when I hear, some of the main complains that the critics point out about the film. I had to question, their short-temper justice. I felt like they were misinform. Many of the so-call historical inaccuracies were somewhat true. It's true that Antonio Salieri later claims he killed Mozart. Even Mozart toward the end of his life, swears that he's believe that he been poison, but in terms of Salieri doing it; its indeed historical fiction; due to the fact that most historians dismissed his mad ravings with that of a person whom clearly had his sanity deteriorated & the fact that Mozart fell ill while in Prague on Sept 6. 1791 where Salieri was clearly not there. Another claim, these critics spoke of, is how the film, portray a masked man wanting to commissioned a requiem from him in order to steal his work. In truth, it was very likely at the time for people to anonymously commissioned requiems from famous composers and pass them as them, off; but there was no reason why Salieri needed to. After all, his music was a lot more popular at the time, than Mozart. It wasn't, because Mozart was lazy. It was, because he was a fading child star, who had drug problems which both historians and film critics fail to notice that kept him working. I thought that Tom Hulce's immature performance as Mozart was very accuracy as it was very well documented that the composer had those characteristic traits even if it's a little exaggerated. However, the ever-present, idiotic giggle does get a little too annoying at times. About the fact that Salieri and Mozart were fighting for certain imperial jobs, it was true, but the reason why Mozart was never given a position on the emperor's courts, wasn't, because Salieri's envy of Mozart, but the fact, that Mozart's music doesn't sound typical 'Galant' & he wasn't noble. There was no reason why Salieri really needed to steal his work, as he was rich enough, and Mozart's work was a little too controversial at the time for basing works on Austrian's past banned materials and not being tradition. About Mozart's constant embarrassment of Salieri, such as seducing Salieri's lover, Catarina Cavalieri (Christine Ebersole). There is no evidence that Mozart slept with her. In reality, it is very likely that Salieri slept with Catarina, as it was generally known, at the time, that she was his mistress, and if they were still together years after 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'. If anything, Mozart and Salieri were, if not best of friends, at least on peaceable terms with one another, when it comes to sexual and musical conquest. He wasn't a saint at all. He even educated Mozart's younger son Franz Xaver Mozart, after the composer death. While, yes it's true that Mozart's work outlive, Salieri. It wasn't because Mozart work was better than Salieri. It was, because German nationalism began to take shape in Vienna with the birth of Romantic nationalism during the Napoleonic Wars. Italians were often view, as scapegoat of the war since Napoleon was one; thus Italian culture like it's music was somewhat banned from most European cultures during the mid19th century. This short ban, cause hits like Salieri to be nearly forgotten. It wasn't until, the late 20th century that most of Salieri's work was reintroduce into western culture with this film. The film was well-received by both critics and audiences alike with its lavish set and period costume design, music, visuals, and its acting. If the film had any faults, it would be the fact that the movie has pacing problems. It's way too damn long. 2h 40min is too much. It could had been cut down. Ultimately, the 1984 awards were monopolized by Amadeus with eight wins: Best Picture, Best Actor (F. Murray Abraham), Best Director, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Art/Set Direction, Best Sound, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup. It became the 7th film in Oscar history to win eight Oscars. Overall: It's visually interesting, has dramatic intrigue acting from F. Murray Abraham, hilarious comedy, and introduced people to a part of history that was phenomenally fascinating and surprising, mostly true. I highly recommended this film.

Reviewed by AlsExGal 9 / 10

To give everything you have to music and come up short

At the tender age of 26, when I still thought no film was complete without a car chase and a big explosion, Amadeus had me hooked. I went to see it multiple times back in 1984 during its initial release, back when the theater was empty whenever it played and before it was nominated by the Academy.

This film is an unusual biography, and I often like to compare it with Ed Wood, since both Ed Wood and Salieri were men who gave everything they had to their respective crafts and came up short. Salieri, a contemporary of Mozart, has only one dream - to be a great composer. Predating the prosperity gospel by about two hundred years, Salieri mistakes obsessing with God over his own earthly desires with actual godliness, even being happy when his father - who objects to Salieri's musical interests - chokes to death and leaves Salieri free to pursue his musical dreams. He chalks this up to God's will for his career. Problems begin when Salieri meets a twenty-something Mozart at the court of the Emperor in Vienna, where Salieri is the court composer. Mozart is everything Salieri is not - profane, forward, and a great composer. Salieri starts down the road to insanity as he realizes the childish Mozart has all of the gifts he ever wanted and has been denied. However, Salieri is not an outright failure as was Ed Wood. In many ways he is something worse than a ridiculous failure - he is mediocre, and worse yet, he knows it.

Salieri,angry at God for honoring a profane ungrateful boy like Mozart while ignoring his own one desire to be a great composer, swears to destroy Mozart. The strange thing is, as long as Mozart is alive, Salieri is the honored composer, not Mozart, though this just seems to infuriate Salieri even more. Salieri seems to be the only person in Vienna who recognizes Mozart's talent. This just begs the question - why did it never occur to Salieri that being able to recognize something as valuable before anyone else does is a talent in and of itself? After all, in 1975 the second best thing to being Bill Gates would have been to have recognized his genius and invested heavily in his success. But I digress.

The cinematography and art direction on this film are outstanding. The visuals start out light and festive, matching Mozart's mood and prospects. As poverty, illness, and the guilt of his father's death close in on Mozart during the second half of the film, the mood and visuals become very dark to match what is happening in Mozart's own life. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by JamesHitchcock 10 / 10

The Patron Saint of Mediocrities

Most films about composers- Ken Russell's "The Music Lovers" about Tchaikovsky and "Immortal Beloved" about Beethoven are examples- rely upon the cliché of the creative artist as tortured, neurotic genius. Perhaps we like to console ourselves for the fact that we are not ourselves geniuses with the thought that genius must be paid for in mental suffering. Of course, not all composers fit this stereotype- Haydn was stoical in the face of misfortune (including a miserably unhappy marriage), Rossini was a noted bon viveur and it was often said of Felix Mendelssohn that his forename (Latin for "happy") well suited his character. But when did you last see a biopic of Haydn, Rossini or Mendelssohn? "Song of Norway" told the story of Grieg, another composer who doesn't really fit the "tormented genius" label, but it bombed at the box-office.

"Amadeus", however, attempts to overturn this cliché with a vengeance. The Mozart portrayed in the early scenes is about the least tormented genius who ever lived, obnoxiously hearty and cheerful, without the slightest doubt about his own talents. The tormented character is his rival, Antonio Salieri, but Salieri is no genius; in his own mind he is a hopeless mediocrity whose talents pale into insignificance besides Mozart's.

The story is told as a confession made by the now elderly, half- mad Salieri to a priest in 1823, long after Mozart's death, the earlier scenes being seen in flashback. As a young man, the deeply pious Salieri vows that if God will make him a great composer he will live a chaste, virtuous life and use his talents to God's glory. At first Salieri believes that his vow has been accepted. He quickly achieves fame and is appointed Court Composer to Emperor Joseph II. When Mozart arrives in Vienna, however, Salieri realises that the young man's music has a transcendent beauty which his own can never match.

Salieri's attitude towards his rival is not one of simple jealousy. Were Mozart a man of his own austere, puritanical stamp Salieri would not resent him nearly so much. Mozart, however, is very far from being puritanical. He is not a bad man, but he is very young, and his are a young man's faults- brashness, overweening self-confidence, a bawdy sense of humour, a keen eye for a pretty girl and a lack of respect for authority. (Actually, those last two are not really faults at all). His most irritating characteristic is his high-pitched laugh like a braying jackass. In Salieri's eyes, however, Mozart is a vulgar upstart, a smutty, sex-obsessed boy. Salieri believes that God has cheated him, by denying him the musical talent he deserves and giving it to an unworthy recipient. (The title is an appropriate one; Amadeus was not only Mozart's middle name but is also Latin for "beloved of God"). Salieri therefore plots a diabolical revenge against both Mozart and God.

The director Miloš Forman took the brave decision to cast little-known actors in the three main roles, F. Murray Abraham as Salieri, Tom Hulce as Mozart and Elizabeth Berridge as Mozart's beautiful young wife Constanze. In each case, however, that decision paid off admirably. Constanze has sometimes had a bad press from biographers, but here Berridge portrays her as strong-willed but loving and kind-hearted.

Both Abraham and Hulce were nominated for "Best Actor" Oscars, and it was Abraham who won. Good as Abraham is as the gloomy, saturnine Salieri, a man eaten up with obsessive hatred, I still think that Hulce should have beaten him. There is a remarkable contrast between the brash young jackass of the early scenes and the Mozart of the later ones- a more mature, serious family man who has learnt the meaning of responsibility and who is for the first time starting to experience worries- about his finances, about his health, about his career. Hulce's achievement is that he not only makes these two Mozarts equally believable but also indicates that they are not two distinct individuals but rather two aspects of the same complex personality. There are also good performances from Jeffrey Jones as the conscientious but bumbling and musically tone deaf Emperor Joseph and Roy Dotrice as Mozart's autocratic father Leopold.

"Amadeus" is not, and is not intended as, a factually accurate biopic of Mozart. As Peter Shaffer, who wrote both the screenplay and the play on which it was based, was well aware, there is no real evidence that Salieri was obsessively jealous of Mozart, and absolutely none to support the old legend that he murdered him. He was not in reality a celibate puritan- he had a wife, eight children and a mistress. Shaffer uses this legend as the basis of a fictional story which explores complex questions about the nature of artistic creativity and the relationship between man and God.

The film, deservedly, won the "Best Picture" Oscar for 1984; indeed, it is in my view one of the finest films of the eighties. It works on a number of levels- as a lavish piece of "heritage cinema" recreating the Europe of the late 18th century (the sets and costumes are particularly fine), as an intellectual exploration of philosophical issues, as a well-acted human drama, as a fictionalised study of a great man. The soundtrack is heavenly, but that is only to be expected, containing as it does some of Mozart's greatest music.

The film has had a curious side effect. It could have condemned Salieri to perpetual infamy as a jealous minor composer who was supposedly responsible for the death of a great one. Instead, it seems to have led to a revival of interest in his work; he is certainly better known today than he was in 1984. Many musicians would now regard him as something far more than the "patron saint of mediocrities". God may have answered Salieri's prayers long after his death. 10/10

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